Early last week, Taliban fighters waged an attack on the city of Farah in Afghanistan. The attack, set up from multiple directions to seize the provincial capital, was part of the ongoing battle between the rebel group and the State.
According to officials on site, casualties could not be counted for reporters because of the extent of the destruction. The groups overran almost all of the checkpoints leading up to the city, ruthlessly fighting to gain ownership of the territory.
During the siege, security forces fell to the Taliban, helping the group gain control of the area. Reportedly, a number of the casualties in Farah were on duty security officers who encountered the overthrow.
The “heavy fighting” occurred just 300 meters from the governor’s residence in a sector that was protected from Taliban control. A number of areas of the city have been placed under rebel control in recent attacks, and this latest brutal incident has given Taliban members a stronghold in the city.
A local legislator from Farah, Samihullah Samim, noted that if security forces can’t gain footing in the area quickly, taking back control of their city will be extremely difficult. Samim patriotically stated that even if the Taliban did maintain control, neighboring provinces would come together to take back the area.
However, a ministry spokesperson regarded the attack as something that could be handled by the city. Najib Danish noted that “There is no danger of Farah city collapsing into the hands of Taliban,” as although a number of security officers were wounded, only six were killed.
According to Danish, measures have been taken by Farah’s commando units to reinforce the city’s stronghold, shortly after a Taliban spokesperson claimed the attack.
Despite encouragement from local officials, a number of residents remain indoors for fear that the attack could be detrimental to the city. Retired general Atiqullah Amarkhail argued that “even ordinary citizens were aware of the Taliban gradually taking over more areas and becoming a formidable force in the province.” The general noted that last Tuesday’s attack “should not have taken government forces off guard” because of an ongoing increase in Taliban presence, which has resulted in a number of violent incidents between citizens and the rebel group.
Many schools and government offices remain closed for safety reasons until further investigation. The public currently fears that the series of attacks leading up to this incident influenced government officials to turn a blind eye to the mayhem and instead encourage global news that their city is safe.
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